Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why I'm a Missionary


This week has been full of activity - restful, busy, beautiful, and, as most "restful" weeks go for moms, demanding all the same.  I've had a few blog posts rattling around in my head, thinking about them as I go through my days of work - pitting cherries and pondering mysteries.  By the time it is quiet enough in my house and my mind, it's too late to do deep writing, but every once in a while I do it anyway.

Here I am: a missionary, falling squarely in a category most people love to hoist up on that pedestal of human goodness or self-sacrifice (that's another post, really, one that has also been tickling my mind), and I love to read blogs by other missionaries, to know what God is doing around the world.  This is good, but my twisted heart takes it one step further and lies seep through the cracks in my heart.  Those men and women who are living in Africa and working in orphanages or those people trekking to the jungle to reach remote tribes, I read their words and I think, "Wow. Now that person is IT.  That person has given up so much more than I have.  That person is walking in the light better than I am, trusting God more than I am! Why aren't I more like them?" And then that tricky liar, Guilt, comes stalking over to prod me and whisper that in reality I am a big coward and if I was truly courageous,  I would........" 

But the TRUTH!  
"Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin but if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!" John 4:34,36
There is no striving left to me. I am set free! 

You want to know why I'm a missionary?  

It's not because I am brave (I'm not), or smart or extra patient and loving- quite the opposite.  It's not because I enjoy experiencing those [awkward] "Good for you"s from strangers who find out where we live and work. (Yeah, that's part of that other post I'm forming, so stay tuned).

It's because, when I started to really understand my guilt and what hell I chose for myself-- and then began to grasp the exchange made for me at the cross, I was set free.

 And if the dead is brought to life by mercy and grace, she says "I will follow you in gratitude.  I owe you all of me and my heart overflows with gratitude and I want to be where you are."

You don't have to read too far into the Bible to find out where God is and who He loves to be with. He chooses, over and over, to be especially with the oppressed, the downtrodden, the poor, the outcast, the orphan, the widow.

Do you know this freedom? If you do, don't you want to be where your bondage-breaker is? Listen to Him and trust Him. Ask Him where He is working and how you can join Him in grateful service, expecting Him to answer. And then... do it.

Don't find excuses or hide. He will probably require suffering and entering into someone's suffering and it will be stressful; you will wonder what in the world you got yourself into. And the craziness of how God likes to work, the complete upside-down nature of Kingdom growth... it will strike you, like it strikes me, at those moments when you realize that you are now crazy in the eyes of the world but God's wisdom looks like foolishness and you will get the giggles over what the "old you" would think about this life of loving Jesus better than anything in this world.

So I don't know how that looks for you.  Maybe it is exploring how to provide respite for foster parents who are caring for orphans, or maybe it is taking a foster child into your home. Maybe it is finding out whether any widows in your neighborhood need to be taken to doctor appointments or need some company. Maybe it's starting a small after-school program in the lobby of a nearby apartment complex or the elementary school gym or even just having some neighbor kids over a few afternoons a week to do homework and have snacks and play a game. Maybe it's pulling your car over into the parking lot and giving that man with the sign a bottle of water and asking him how you can pray for him. When it comes to how the Spirit moves, the options are limitless for our creative God.  Listen. 

You are free in Christ to fail and no longer must you strive to be good enough.  This isn't something we do to make Him love us more, but instead, as I tell my children, He already loves us no matter what and isn't that wonderful and doesn't that make you want to thank Him with obedience? Isn't that the best news you've heard all day? Now stay close to the side of the One who paid your slave price and abide where He abides.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading your post, I hope humans all over the world would open their hearts to kindness to others. Every bit helps. You have my prayers as you live your missionary work that is loved by others.